This week, Indiana Democrats made a point to say they would make a point of pushing to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state. And that they’d make it a key element of their upcoming election campaigns. Mike Schmuhl, Indiana Democratic Party chairman, said: “Marijuana is a really popular issue, and a large majority of Hoosiers want to see this get done.” OK, then …
Today’s Based in Lafayette Thread: Should Indiana legalize recreational use of marijuana? And are Democrats right? Is this something Hoosiers want to see get done? (Read: What are the chances it gets done?)
As always, be cool to each other when responding. And thanks for reading and supporting the Based in Lafayette reporting project.
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I say it should be legalized in IIndiana. It's probably less harmful than alcohol, and for some with intractable pain, a much better alternative than opioids. We tried making alcohol illegal, with disastrous results. We're trying the same thing with marijuana, and filling our jails with folks who's shouldn't be there, and at great expense - to them, and to taxpayers. Legalization could also maybe raise some tax revenue.
The cost of criminalizing marijuana is far too high and has been for far too long. We can both alleviate ourselves of the fiscal cost of prosecutions and incarceration and join our neighboring states in generating new revenues and crop production opportunities.
+1 for "don’t bogart that subscription"
A few years ago, I happened to be at the statehouse with another lobby and saw two Indiana Republicans bring the issue to the legislators on the floor. They were making clear, cogent arguments not only about the tax revenue, but about how marijuana legalization would bring a low stakes pain management alternative to counties like theirs who have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. I'm in another area of the country now that is Republican controlled and broadly against legalization for reasons of political identity, but the county and local police have called a truce on weed, and it is decriminalized for public and private use. People of all stripes use it broadly and responsibly. It's not a bad thing. Indiana Republicans see the financial, medical and social benefits, but they'd have to reconsider their love of racist policing, which is not going to happen soon.
This will be interesting to follow as it represents a significant redistribution of money - from those invested in the hidden economy of the courts, law enforcement, drug treatment, and for-profit incarceration aspects of prohibition to the much more publicly scrutinized allocation of tax revenues. Unfortunately, I suspect the Indiana legislature is far more interested in serving the former.
Drive past the dispensaries in Illinois and Michigan and count the Indiana license plates. That's all Indiana money going to other states.
Without a doubt it should be legalized. The cost of the failed "war on drugs" grows ever higher as we push more and more non-violent offenders into the prison system for consumption or possession of pot while more than half of adult Americans have consumed it at one point. It's senseless, expensive, and destructive to our society to continue this failed effort that the science does not and has not ever supported.
Yes to legalization but can we talk about the hypocrisy of this compared to the progress we've made in reducing cigarette smoking rates among Hoosiers? We're going to be adding more noxious smells in public places like parks and city streets. I'd like to see more pushback on parents smoking inside around their children. Children of cigarette smokers already come to school smelling like cigarette smoke. The smell lingers in common areas of apartment hallways and who wants to live next to that? Maybe a PR campaign that people need to go outside or use a device that filters the odor would help to encourage being a good neighbor. I'm also a bit concerned with impaired driving. Do we currently have an easy test and standards so that police can get dangerous drivers off the road?
My dear ol' dad, who worked for Michigan's prison system for over 20 years, was in favor of legalizing marijuana back in the 70s. I've only seen more reasons to do that since then. But the old white Republicans aren't about to allow that to happen here, so people will continue to spend their money in Michigan, and those who can't get there continue to support the drug cartels that make South and Central America unlivable.
Absolutely. It's time, for sure. We waste an incredible amount of money and resources criminalizing it. It's time to legalize it and put the tax revenue to good use.
Indiana should absolutely legalize and regulate cannabis, but I wonder if this won't happen at the federal level before it happens in our state.
Absolutely! Perhaps then everyone would chill the F out instead of polluting America with divisiveness, delusion, misinformation, degrading standards and what is now socially accepted, social media narcissism and gaslighting.
The cost savings in law enforcement and corrections are just the tip of the iceberg of money legalised cannabis will bring. Health benefits are generous as well. The War on Drugs has pulled our law enforcement focus away from service and militarised the units unnecessarily. The majority of legalisation supporters in Indiana are Trumpublicans!
Yes. It's here anyway, along with whatever costs that may have. Hoosiers drive to Illinois or Michigan, buy it and leave their dollars out of state or, even worse, they buy it from some pretty unsavory folks. Get over the paranoia, make it legal, and gain the voluntary tax income. It manages pain really well and, for 99+%, isn't habit-forming. Keeping it illegal isn't keeping it away. Dare I add that it's fun?
Yes. For reduced opioid use (for our veterans and elderly with chronic pain). Yes. For decriminalizing something thats been natural on the planet. Yes. For the opportunity to educate us all on the uses this plant and its properties and to allow research to be unfettered. Yes. For allowing the funds to stay in the state, and when it is federally legalized, allowing associated businesses to be a part of the banking industry. Yes.
It's time. Tax revenues generated from cannabis sales can be used for addiction recovery programs.
I agree with Joe Mackey. His points are very valid.
Yep and no it won't get done as long as the current crop of legislators are in office and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Follow the money. If it gets enacted a system will be set up that benefits corporate donors.
I am absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana and edibles.
Yes, tax the crap out of it.
Truly undecided. I am an older generation and any drug use frightens me. But I suppose pot is probably no worse than alcohol. The issue seems to have been politicized just as abortion, face masks and Covid vaccination have been. My question is: Does use of marijuana lead to use of stronger, more dangerous drugs? Is there data?